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Middle School Celebrates “Schools to Watch” Re-Designation Honor
Students with Schools to Watch BannerNorth Hills Middle School staff and students held a celebration event on May 14 in honor of the school’s redesignation as a prestigious PA Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch.

Approximately 400 schools out of more than 11,700 middle schools nationwide hold the designation, and North Hills is one of only 39 schools in Pennsylvania to be recognized in the noted program. The school has been recognized as a “School to Watch” since 2015.

At the event, building staff and students were presented with their official Schools to Watch redesignation banner that will be hung in the middle school to honor their achievement.

The event showcased the middle school students and staff who made the designation possible by incorporating student music performances and student leadership members as ushers. Featured speakers included North Hills Middle School Principal David Lieberman and Assistant Principal Jason Beall as well as Bruce Vosberg from the Pennsylvania Don Eichhorn Schools: Schools to Watch program. 

The Schools to Watch designation notes the middle school as one of a small number of diverse, high-performing, growth-orientated middle-grades schools to demonstrate what all middle schools are capable of achieving. Schools are recognized for three years and must demonstrate progress and continued improvement on specific goals to be re-designated. In June, the middle school will be recognized at the National Schools to Watch Conference.

The process to be redesignated as a School to Watch is lengthy and all-encompassing. School officials draft a written application to show how they meet the criteria developed by the National Forum to Accelerate Middle-Grades Reform. Schools that appear to meet established criteria are visited by state-level teams of noted educators, which observe classrooms, interview administrators, teachers, students and parents and evaluate achievement data, suspension rates, quality of lessons and student work.


About Schools to Watch 

Launched in 1999, Schools to Watch began as a national program to identify middle-grades schools across the country that were meeting or exceeding 37 criteria developed by the National Forum. The Forum developed a website ( that features online tours of schools as well as detailed information about the selection criteria used in the recognition program. There are now 19 states across the country, which have trained Schools to Watch State Teams with more than 380 schools recognized. The National Forum sponsors the Schools to Watch program along with the Association for Middle Level Education (AMLE/formerly NMSA), the National Association for Elementary School Principals, the National Association of Secondary School Principals, Learning Forward, ASCD and state Schools to Watch affiliates.       

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